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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  July 20, 2013 8:00am-9:01am EDT

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.. >> our live coverage are end around 7:30 p.m. eastern time, and the event will reair tonight at midnight. visit booktv.org for a complete schedule. at 1 p.m. eastern, we'll bring you interviews from booktv's college series. we talk to john taylor, he's the author of "five principles: five keys to restoring america's
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prosperity." he's followed by a conversation with peter berkovitz, author of "constitutional conservativism." then on sunday at 6 p.m. eastern the final two interviews from booktv's recent visit to london. we sat down with authors anthony beevor and judith flanders. for a complete schedule visit booktv.org. >> next, michael levi argues instead of viewing our energy future as a fight between clean renewable energy and traditional fuel sources, americans should figure out a way to develop both and use the rising prices of the latter as a funding source for the former. he spoke at the world affairs council of houston. this is about an hour.
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>> okay. a couple of weeks ago i actually realize a book. [laughter] not a financial statement report, not a printout of a sack of e-mails, not an industry magazine but an actual book with a hard cover and nice pages. it's actually an enjoyable experience. i suggest you try it sometime. it's entitled "the power surge," by dr. michael levin. i've had the pleasure of reading a number of pieces, so what i found inside this book was a real surprise. admittedly, i'd expected to find cleverly-worded, one-sided propaganda that's the hallmark of any debate in our sound bite-driven news cycle. but instead i found nuance and the understanding of complexity. i expected to find be a tax and hand-picked anecdotes trying to prove one side of an argument at
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the expense of the other. instead i found the appreciation that both sides of an argument can have validity. and nowhere did i detect any type of hidden agenda. i didn't see any cause except to identify what the true nature of the problem is and propose a workable solution. in the world of any highly politically-charged debate, i think you'll agree this is exceedingly rare. i applaud his approach, and i look forward to what he has to say today. dr. michael levi is the senior fellow for energy and environment on the council of foreign relations and the director of the council's program on energy security and climate change. he's an expert on arms control and nuclear terrorism. he's project director for the independent task force on climate change co-cared by former governors tom vilsack and george pataki.
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his op-eds have appeared in new york times, washington post, "wall street journal," financial times, and his book is even reviewed in this week's economist. perhaps most interesting to some of you, he served as a technical consultant to the critically-acclaimed drama "24." we could probably spend an hour asking questions about that. he holds a bs in path mat call physics and a phd in world studies. please join me in welcoming michael levi. [applause] >> thank you for the very kind introduction. it's fantastic to see, fantastic to see such a big crowd here. apparently, there's some folks in houston who are interested in energy. [laughter] finish i was telling someone
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earlier i had difficulty choosing exactly what to wear today. while i was writing this book, i picked up some interesting items of clothing. i have now a 50th anniversary opec tie that i still can't find occasion to wear with. i have a beautiful light blue don't frack ohio bandanna that i also decided against wearing if houston. at some point i'll try to wear them, maybe not at the same time. [laughter] but i'll find some occasion. i want you all to imagine for a moment that this is june 1973, not june 2013. it's been a little more than two years since u.s. oil production peaked, and you're starting to see gas lines around the country. it's been barely three years since the first earth day marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. and even though most of you
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probably aren't thinking about the middle east, you will be in a few months when a group of arab oil producers quadruple their prices and set off the 1973 oil crisis. in the next few years, you'll see the united states start to respond. part of that will come from markets. higher prices for new supplies encourage people to curb demand and persuade innovators to invest in new technologies. another part of it comes from policy. barely a month after the crisis begins, congress moves forward on a long-stalled oil pipeline across alaska. and within a couple years it passes the first-ever fuel economy standards requiring more efficient cars and trucks. but if you look a few more years into the future, you'll find the country consumed by paralyzing battles. one camp is focused on alternatives and on promoting conservation and efficiency.
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and the bun thing that the two largely agree on is that the country now has to choose. energy becomes a focal point in the years that come and peaks in the 1980 election. it becomes so intensely enmeshed in ideological battles that it's pretty much impossible to focus on the underlying substance. i did a lot of my historical research for this book in the early days of the last presidential campaign, and the parallels were eerie. if you look at the 1980 campaign, ted kennedy describes his opponent's energy platform as creating a scale of unequal sacrifice based on unfair prices that would bring hardship to ordinary people. david stockman, who is less remembered as the chief architect of ronald reagan's energy plan that year, calls jimmy carter's plan a fight for state control of resources in the economy and describes its proponents as prosecuting their views with a determination
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befitting the smallness of their minds. [laughter] it shouldn't be a surprise that with energy turned into such a prominent ideological battlefield, while the united states makes some progress, the result is mostly gridlock. by the end of the 1980s, oil production has plummeted, access to new resources is becoming more difficult, congress has begun to starve clean energy. the country largely stumbles through the 1980s and '90s with the occasional utility crisis or middle eastern war. but over the last dozen years, energy has reemerged and become central to some of this country's biggest debates. just like in the 1970s, the transformation bins with events in the -- begins with events in the world. hurricane katrina drama --
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dramatizes the risk of climate change. the second thing that happens has excoes of the 1970s too. driven by markets and policy, american energy begins to transform in a way that we haven't seen for 40 years. a lot of you know the basic trends, but let me recap them for a moment. natural gas propelled by fracking passes coal as the top domestic source of u.s. energy in 2011. last year we see oil production rise capping off a four-year run of increasing protection. over that same four-year period, renewable energy from wind and solar doubles while prices, particularly for solar, fall. and u.s. oil cop assumption peaks in the 2005 -- consumption peaks in 2005 by less driving and improving technology for cars and trucks. but the echoes of the 1970s
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don't end with changes in the world or in energy. we're also starting to relive some of the paralyzing battles of 1972. you don't need to go that far back to see a time when we could agree on energy. we had bipartisan energy legislation in 2005 and 2007. in 2008 john mccain and barack obama fought over whose cap and trade program was better. in 2010 president obama moved against the interests of some of his allies to expand leasing in order to increase production of offshore oil and gas. you don't hear much about these sorts of things today. instead you hear about how the keystone xl pipeline will be game over for the planet or how blocking it will be a body blow to national security. you hear about how it will create millions of jobs and provide a replacement for oil. you hear how government support fur clean energy innovation will
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propole the united states t to -- propel the united states to global leadership or how pro profligate government spending how badly washington is adrift. now, this is a hugely frustrating state of affairs. here you have in the span of barely five years changes in american energy that are more radical than at any time in almost half a century in ways that have big consequences for everything from the future of our economy to the health of our environment to our position in the world. and instead of using this as an opportunity to rethink how we approach energy and take advantage of the changes that are underway, we're mostly grasping at old ways of thinking and settling back into destructive debates over what to do. it's that mixed sense of opportunity and increasing frustration together, to be quite honest, with great fascination about what's happening and its consequences that motivated me to write this book.
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i tried to do three things with the book. the first thing i wanted to do was tell the story of what's happening in american energy. many of you focus on international issues like i do, so when you want to understand something, you end up in moscow, beijing or london. and i did that, but i also spent time in pennsylvania and colorado and ohio and detroit trying to understand what's happening on the ground. people in houston are intimately familiar with the oil and gas industry. a lot of places where the country is being transformed are not so familiar, and one of those places that i visited while i was with writing the book was in southern ohio, athens county about fracking. the first person i met was warren taylor. he owned snow bell creamery. i've actually watched him speak at the anti-fracking rally in columbus where i picked up that
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bandanna that i told you about before. and warren told me a story. he said my parents bought woodland property down here in the 1960s. beautiful, not a virgin forest, but a damaged world war ii vet hadn't allowed any logging. so by the 1960s, unlike most places around here, this was a beautiful woods. taylor had moved away and then moved back and bought property next door. and he said to me, that property had won a blue ribbon at the county fair for the finest corn bottle in the county. two years later the neighbor strip mined his place and the runoff from the high walls destroyed the 640-acre farm. then he says to me, a guy who has a ph.d. from ohio university concluded it would be a thousand years before it would return to what it had been before. you do the economic analysis for me, he says, on a thousand years
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of corn versus one year of coal. now, while i was talking to warren taylor, bill dicks drove can up. bill is a dairy farmer. bill and warren are friends. but one of the big differences between them is that dicks opens land and taylor doesn't. and bill dicks says to me, the opponents are hypocrites. they're happy to profit when their pension funds invest in exxonmobil and chesapeake but unwilling to accept developments in their backyards. he says they're worried about the athens way of life when the barbarians are at the door. the rural men aren't working, the kids don't have fathers, there's heroin. the par barrens are at the f-ing gate and you're worried about having to seeing oil rigs when you're taking a sunday night
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drive? again and again as you visit the places newly transformed by changes in american energy, you see this mix of excitement and fear. so this is the first thing i tried to do with the book is give a sense of what's happening around the country whether it's fights over oil and gas development or challenges facing clean energy entrepreneurs or decisions made about what cars to produce in detroit. the second thing i tried to do was understand and explain what the changes we're seeing in energy mean for the big things people care about, the economy, jobs, national security, the environment, climate change. will the united states become energy independent? what will changes in american energy mean for our relationships with russia, china and the middle east? what can natural gas do and not do when it comes to combating climate change? how much stock should we mutt in promise -- put in promises of millions of new jobs? and one of the themes that comes through again and again is that we really are stuck in the past.
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i want to take just one example, energy independence. for 40 years presidents have promised to deliver energy independence, and for 40 years they failed. and now you can't go a month without a new report claiming at least north america will be energy self-sufficient within a decade or so. but i argue in the book that this won't actually make up independent in a meaningful sense of the word. in the last 40 years, as you know well, we've developed global markets for oil that have made where we get our energy from far less important than it used to be. when civil war broke out in libya two years ago, the price of oil produced in the united states, of course, increased by as much as the price of oil increased in the middle east, and the economic damage to american consumers was the same. that would not have been the case 40 years ago, but it is the case today, and it will be in the future. so while rising oil production is good for the economy and benefits national security, all areas that i explore, it won't deliver energy independence
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because the world has changed. so that's the second reason i wrote the book, to explore and explain how energy will and won't affect everything from the economy to security to the environment given the way the world is today. and energy independence is just one piece of that larger puzzle. the third reason i wrote the book, and every author has his motivation s that i wanted to make a point. i argue in the book that the claims you hear about how we need to decisively pick sides, that the real opportunities lie only in oil and gas or only in clean energy and efficient cars and that the other side is mostly downside aren't just wrong, but dangerous. i make the case for what i call a most of the above approach to american energy that doesn't blindly embrace everything but that adopts a broad portfolio. i'm not going to take you step by step through the argument, but i want to flag three big reasons why i'm afraid that we'll fail to seize many of the opportunities we have. the first is that i worry that
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we won't get fracking right. there are smart ways to do development, and there are dumb ways to do it. and if we do it the wrong way, we will only have local problems, and we could see a backlash that prevents us from taking advantage of some of the opportunities that we now have. and when i was writing the book, i visited with the mayor of youngstown, ohio, who told me about how he had sponsored ordnances to support increased oil and gas development, and he was excited that a new plant was about to open in youngstown to make steel tubes for the industry. but he also told me about what happened when one company did a sloppy job of wastewater disposal and set off a 4.0-magnitude tremor. his house was damaged, and he told me two things that stuck with me. he said you get a pot of gold, but if you've got earthquakes, people don't want the pot of gold that's causing the earthquakes, because if they wanted earthquakes, they'd have
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moved to california. [laughter] the second thing he said to me was i used to be a teacher. i used to tell the kids don't bs me. if you know the answer, good. if you don't know the answer, just say i don't know it. nobody knows everything. i think that's a really good message for people who want to see development succeed, and i count myself among that group. there's a good story to tell about how oil and gas development can be done well with the right practices and the right rules to make sure they're follows, but we see a bit too much confidence and too much certainty and not enough humility on too many occasions, and people don't trust that. the second thing i worry about is that we'll get lazy. it's really tempting to say you know what? climate change, really tough problem, and natural gas is already cutting our emissions. can't we focus on something else? and it's really easy to say people don't love fuel economy rules, they don't really like it when government spends money trying to promote new cars and trucks, and booming oil
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production is going to end our dependence on foreign oil anyhow. and that would be a real shame. because as i argue in the book, cheap natural gas and falling prices for renewable energy have made it less expensive to curb greenhouse gas emissions. transformations in our cars and trucks have made it drastically cheaper to pursue policies that would slash the amount of oil we use and make us more secure in the world. but these things will not transform our system by themselves. they are opportunities to make changes, but we still need to make decisions and pursue policies that will take full advantage of what's happening. while i was writing the book, i met with the secretary general of opec. that's where i got the tie. one of his colleagues also gave me a handful of usb keys to give to my colleagues. any of you who have good corporate i.t. policies at work know that that is not a good thing to do. you do not put that in your computer. i never put it in mine, but i'm
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still curious about what would have happened. i asked him what do you think about what's going on in america and energy and particularly in oil. the first thing he said, and you hear this often, is he's very concerned about our water quality and would like us to pay more attention to it. the second thing he said was maybe this is good news for us. maybe you guys won't with blame opec for your problems anymore. the saudi oil minister gave a speech in washington where he put a finer point on this. he said maybe you guys will stop hating oil so much. and what he meant in part was maybe you'll try, you'll stop trying to use less of the stuff. the last thing i worry about is that we're too often unable to see that we not only can, but should pursue more than one thing at a time, that we can pursue oil and gas production and clean energy and efficiency at the same time with economic
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security and environmental payoffs. instead what you see is people focusing on taking down the other side. that's part of why we see this steady focus on the keystone b xl pipeline. it's part of why you saw last week a bill passed in the washington to slash funding for the department of energy's advanced research project effort. this was an effort supported not only by president obama, but by governor romney in the last campaign. 80% cut. this is not the conversation we need to be having. i make an extended argument in the book on the substance for why we should pursue different opportunities at the same time, but one person i met while i was writing the book captured that combination for me. i met with the ceo of a company that makes batteries for electric cars out of silicon valley. any of you who have met someone who runs an he cantic car or battery -- electric car or battery company can confirm that
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those people brag a lot about the gas mileage they get. he bragged to me about his natural gas-fueled vehicle. he said i went to look at it, i did the math, and it was a no of brainer. i'm lucky, he tells me, because one of the five filling stations between the silicon valley area are between my home and my work, so not everybody will be able to take advantage of this. and he knows there are range limitations. so he's still at the same time as he uses this natural gas car is pursuing a fully electric vehicle. and what i argue in the book is that this isn't just something that an individual can do at the same time, and it's not something the companies can pursue at the same time, but that as a country we can be pursuing multiple opportunities at the same time. what i worry is that as we've fallen back and increasingly fall back into the fights of the 1970s, we'll do the exact opposite. instead of seizing gains from clean energy, we'll have two sides that do a great job of
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tearing each other down and a very poor job of building themselves up. thank you all so much for coming out tonight and for your attention. [applause] is there a protocol for questions? >> there is. >> all right. >> people are filling out little blue cards. we're going to compile them and bring them. but while we do that, let me just get started with a question. would you be so kind as to just talk a little more about the geopolitical implications of what increasing production here means for our relations with china, iran, russia and anyone else you want to talk about. >> so i can round out the entire q&a session answering that. let me just say a few things. first, i think you need to think separately about oil and about gas. changes in one part of the world
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have bigger geopolitical consequences. we've already seen some of those consequences in natural gas. because the united states has failed to emerge as an importer, suppliers that were planning to send natural gas to the united states have sent more gas to europe creating more competition, and together with existing infrastructure in europe, weakening russia and giving europe more leverage. we are not seeing the same new year's day electricity kind of gas cutoffs and electricity blackouts that we did not very long ago. and, of course, the united states is not worrying as much about gas market developments overseas. when we had hostage taking in algeria earlier this year, we didn't have neary the same kind of a-- nearly the same kind of alarms that we would have. i think we can speculate as to what the future holds for the geopolitical impacts of natural gas around the world,
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particularly if the united states emerges as an exporter. i think the consequences of that are smaller than the consequences of what's already happened from the united states not being an importer in part because with europe already shaken up, the the big question is asia, and they don't have the physical infrastructure to really transform into a transparent, open market. i can talk more about that if people want to. on the oil side, too much of the discussion here focuses on whether or not we will be energy independent. as i said in my remarks, i don't think that's the right thing to focus on. the bigger consequences are less for us and more for the countries that supply oil particularly in the middle east. in order to keep prices high, countries will have to produce less in the face of increasing u.s. output, or they will have to accept lower prices. either way, there's a threat to their revenues. i can talk in more depth, but i also think there's the potential at least for a couple years of a price plunge in the not too
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distant future and that would have broad ramifications, some good but mostly destabilize anything the region. the last piece i would say on the geopolitical consequences is it's important not to focus only on the underlying economic fundamentals and trade fundamentals in the market, but on how leaders perceive them. when you travel in the -- the president has spoken, the national security adviser has spoken, assistant secretary of state for energy has spoken all saying that we remain committed to global markets, we are part of a global system, we remain committed to trying to provide stability and to providing safe travel for energy through the sea lanes. but when you travel in the middle east, people are not fullly convinced that that -- fully convinced that that will be the case. when you talk to people in china, they are not fully convinced that that will be the case. and they will take measures to hedge against the possibility that the united states will retrench regardless of what analysts and even policymakers say about our intentions, our
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intentions down the road. and i think those perceptions and the decisions that are made based on them have big, real world consequences. >> a lot of questions here. >> all right. >> questions on policy and a lot of questions on compliance. so let's start with policy. if you can share any of your views on best practices whether it's cap and trade or any other policy that you think is particularly effective. >> that is also a very big question. let me say a couple basic things about policy. it's useful to me to think about how we pursue policy for energy be supplies and how we pursue policies to deal with how we use energy. i think on the supply side of the equation, we should mostly be focused on creating new options. that means making sure we have access to land for development both for energy supplies and for the power lines is and pipelines that are needed to transport
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them. it means we should have good environmental rules to make sure that development is sustainable, and it means that we should provide some government support to technology development and innovation so that we maximize the set of options that we have. whether that's to improve our economic growth, tackle climate change or make ourselves less vulnerable to disruptions in the oil market. i think that the main efforts that involve constraints should be focused on the demand side of the equation. i think we should penalize greenhouse gas emissions in one another. what we do have to be part of an international effort, ultimately, but we can take cost effective steps to reduce our emissions and when you want to do that through a carbon tax or a cap and trade system or a clean energy standard i think is less important than making sure you have flexible and ambitious policies that allow the economy to discover the most effective ways to cut emissions. i also think similarly we need
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policies that deter excessive oil consumption because we know that our individual decisions put together make us more vulnerable to volatility and disruptions in the global oil market with security consequences than we need to be. and, again, whether that is think taxes on oil consumption or through fuel economy standards or through other measures, i am less interested in in the specific policy than in picking sure we choose ones where benefits exceed the costs. one of the big lessons over the last few years is we are bad at predicting our energy future. i mean, just think about what this discussion would have been five years ago. and we need to pick policies that are resilient to surprising changes in the energy world and world more broadly. >> thank you. now on to the compliance side. i think your quote that everyone agrees with that we shouldn't do fracking dumb or anything dumb. if you could go into a little more detail what that means, perhaps talk about if you're
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thinking about a national framework or a state framework or what are some of the best practices you've encountered. >> let me start with the second part first. i think that most regulation of fracking should be dope at the state level. -- done at the state level. every idiosyncrasies, i do think that minimum standards at the national level make sense with the states doing a lot of the implementation -- well, the states doing the implementation and a lot of the details. bad news as a marketing professional travels seven time as fast as good news, and if something goes badly wrong in one part of the country, it will have an impact on development attitudes in other parts of the country. as far as the actual threats we should be addressing, i tend to focus on three basic areas. the first is water, and particularly what happens not with what goes into the ground as much as with what comes out and how we dispose of it. i think it's really interesting to lock at the new -- to look at the new rules passed in the illinois, i think signed into
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law yesterday. you can disagree about the details, but one of the interesting things that happened is that the rules require aboveground storage of wastewater before final disposal. what's interesting is that a few years ago if people believed what that the threat was what you put underground, then saying you've got to put the wastewater in storage tanks wouldn't have solved anything. but because we've got a better understanding of things and because communities have a better understanding, you actually can identify solutions that in this case industry and environmental groups were able to come around. so that's number one. number two is air emissions. the bottom line is that even if individual rigs produced horrible emissions, the combined impact of a lot of development in an area can be pretty, can be pretty bad be particularly if people do not adopt the right technologies to minimize volatile organic compound and other zone precursor leaks. the third piece has to do with
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community integration. and this is something that's a challenge everywhere. it's particularly a challenge in places that aren't used to development. what you're basically doing in a lot of these towns is creating a lottery where a lot of people get very rich, some people get a little rich, and is others, particularly those on fixed incomes, have to face the consequences. so figuring out how to integrate development into places whether by maintaining roads or providing courses so that people can get jobs in the industry, i think that piece -- which is a lot tougher to nail down -- is extraordinarily important. it's when people get upset about those transformakes in their communities that they start focusing more on the traditional environmental challenges. >> excellent, thank you. number of questions on the age-old debate of gas versus coal. and you know, you know they haven't read your book yet, because i know to you talk a rot about that. but if you could talk a little
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about how much coal you feel eventually will be displaced by gas and the reality of carbon capture and sequestration. is that theoretical, or is that a real technology? >> so last april or may we had extremely low natural gas prices. and you saw gas generation put about 40% of u.s. electricity into the grid. the same as coal. in the last six months, you've had much herer natural -- higher natural gas prices. if you look at mainstream projections given current regulation, people tend to foresee natural gas not coming back on a sustained basis to its level that it hit last year for perhaps ten years, okay? so i think we'll see increasing natural gas penetration in electricity driven by relatively
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low natural gas prices and by increasing regulation on conventional pollutants. that's already been put in place, but that's going to have increasing impact on coal-fired generation. but i don't think you see natural gas knock out coal in a fundamental way unless there are bigger steps on public policy. and i'm, and the big one to watch is clean air act regulations of existing coal-fired power plants. there was a story in "the new york times" this afternoon about the president's plans to pursue regulation on existing power plants. and the big question remains will those regulations focus on making coal plants more efficient or on promoting fuel switching between coal and gas? i think that remains an open question. i don't think just an open question for those of us on the outside trying to guess what's happening inside, but i suspect on the inside as well. you had a second question about coal and gas. that -- ccs.
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so first basic point, ccs does not happen on a scale unless you have carbon policy be p. you have it -- you have to have some reason that you're going to do that. we've seen a failure of ccs to emerge in a pig -- big way partly because government support has to be doled out in very large thank chunks. so a small number of projects because it's very expensive. that's not a recipe for successful innovation. one of the things i find interesting about what's happening now is that with natural gas prices a bit lower, it becomes plausible to think about natural gas with carbon capture and sequestration, not something that was thought about a lot in the policy world until pretty recently. and in the technology world for that matter. what natural gas with carbon capture sequestration are as an
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edge is the fact you can do it in smaller increments, and that means you can use the same amount of support to pursue multiple experiments which is more likely to lead to greater innovation. another interesting opportunity is that high oil prices create an opportunity to use sequestered carbon dioxide to enhance oil recovery. if we can set up support for development rights, you could see, you could see technological innovation on the or carbon capture side at the same time as you see greater use of enhanced oil recovery. this is one of those places where this polarized battle still hasn't quite taken root. the nrdc, hardly known as a pro-oil group, still promotes a plan to use carbon caps and sequestration technology and increase u.s. oil production by, they claim, roughly two million barrels a day in the process. >> excellent. two topics that may or may not
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have anything to do with each other, but i'll try to combine them into one question is the exporting of lng out of this country and domestic production in china. if you could talk about how senate the global impacts -- significant the global impacts of each of those are. >> i am skeptical that china will choose to become heavily dependent on imports of liquified natural gas. gas use is a discretionary choice for china. it has an alternative for power generation even if it cares about environmental impacts, and that's coal with scrubbers. i think that even more than that the likelihood that china will engage in large scale lng imports in the united states is very low. and if you're chinese, you still worry about fighting a war with the united states. and so you're going to import liquified natural gas in a
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pretty rigid market from this country? i think the potential is probably limited there. the broader -- let me say one more thing about china and then talk about lng exports. there's a separate question how much china will be able to produce domestically. china is estimated to have the largest shale gas resource in the world. it's easy to make big estimates when you don't know a lot about what's actually underground, and i think we'll see over the next five or ten years what can actually be produced at a reasonable cost. the chinese resources are in places that don't have great infrastructure, they don't have a lot of water, so you'll need to bring that in, they don't have good pipeline infrastructure for taking the gas out into markets. on top of that, there's ongoing disagreement about the exact geology there and how productive the shale resources will be. we talk a lot about the circumstances that have allowed development in the united states and how those might not be replicated in other parts of the world. i will say one thing china has
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done for it. the united states benefited from flexible markets where companies could sell their gas forward and use that to finance investments. that doesn't exist to the same degree in europe. it doesn't exist in china, but china has state financing that can provide long patient capital. so i think china has that one opportunity. liquified natural gas exports, huge issue. ongoing debates in washington about how much to approve. a few basic points are worth keeping in mind. first, on the basic economics it's hard to make a case that the costs of allowing exports outweigh the benefits. but second point related to that, it's also difficult to make an argument that the net economic benefits are all that large. the price difference between u.s. and overseas natural gas looks very big, but once you add in lick by liquefaction and -- lick question faction costs,
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it's not that large. profits are fairly limited. so i would not overestimate the economic benefit. to me, the biggest thing to keep in mind when we're talking about liquified natural gas exports is what they mean for the broader system of global trade, for energy and beyond that. the united states prevailed over china, the world trade organization in getting it to, in pursuing its restrictions on raw materials exports. we are continuing to pursue efforts to reduce chinese restrictions on rare earth exports. there are some legal technicalities that might allow us to say we will put restrictions even though you can't, but at a minimum at a political level, that's a very tough argument to carry. if we said we are going to restrict exports to help our economy, help our manufacturing, reduce environmental impacts, we'd basically be taking the chinese brief and putting a copy and paste and inserting some difficult material into the equation. i think that would put us in a
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very bad position. it's worth remembering that despite all the euphoria about what's happening in the united states, bestill remain dependent on global -- we till remain dependent on global martials for our economic security. >> you mention with some optimism the need for additional infrastructure to make widespread use of natural gas vehicles commercial. do you think private industry can fund this, or is government subsidies needed? >> i mentioned it with optimismsome. [laughter] finish i wouldn't say that i'm hugely optimistic about natural gas vehicles for passenger, for sort of individual passenger use. >> [inaudible] >> oh, well, there's someone who's optimistic about most things. what he said to me is, again, i have one of five filling stations in silicon valley, that works for me. i get a special sticker that lets me use the hov lane even if i'm driving by myself.
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well, you can't let everyone do that, or else the lane's not of much value. he also gets tax credits, so there are a whole set of things that help. if i were looking for places for natural gas to transport, i'd be looking at lng for long haul trucking where the problem is less daunting. the other place where i'm really interested to see what happens is converse of natural gas into liquid fuels that you can put in any ordinary car or truck. i think there are some big barriers to investors who might look at doing that. they would be taking a risk on natural gas prices, on fuel prices, on construction costs, maybe on a regulatory piece. most bankers i know tell me if someone comes to me with four different risks and a project they don't want to touch whatever they're being pitched, so that's tough. but there are companies that seem to be moving forward trying to do this, and i think a lot of it will be decided based on how
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successful they ultimately are. >> okay, final question. appears we have some fans of "24" here tonight. [laughter] any stories, any insider views on the show that you can share with us? >> i'll tell one story. so i advised the ec -- the second seasonover "24." and i remember one day, fox wasn't buying the whole season up front, so you would have the shows going on tv, and they would still be writing the last episodes as these were showing. i got a call one day on my cell phone, and they said, look, we've got a nuclear bomb on an airplane. and we have to decide whether to crash the airplane. are we going to crash the airplane into the desert or into the ocean? and i looked around a bit nervously, and i said you have caught me at the airport -- [laughter]
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maybe we'll have this conversation about time. another time. so we eventually had the conversation not at the airport. some of the nsa's recent advances presumably hadn't been put in place at the time. [laughter] they called and said, okay, ocean, desert. and i said definitely ocean. the desert will kick up a lot of radioactive dust and pose a threat to surrounding commitments. and they said fantastic. and they called me back a week or two later, and they said it's too expensive to film on an ocean-based set, so we're going to have to crash this plane into the desert. can you come up with a reason that we should not put it in the ocean? i said what about making sure that we don't harm the fish? [laughter] and i said what about saying that there's a chinese warship visiting in the area and saying this would cause an infrom a gration. they went with the publish -- technical advisers to television
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dramas do not have a hot of influence. [laughter] >> on we half of the council and everyone here tonight, we thank you for speaking. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> visit booktv.org to watch any of the programs you see here online. type the author or book title in the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can also share anything you see on booktv.org easily by clicking share on the upper left side of the page and selecting the format. booktv streams live online for 48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. booktv.org. >> in 2003 in an article you recommended a, quote, a historical reckoning with crimes committed, sponsored by the
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united states, unquote. which crimes were you referring to, and which decisions taken by the current administration would you recommend for such a reckoning? >> thank you, senator. and, again, thank you for giving me occasion to respond to that. i, as an immigrant to this country, think that this country's the greatest country on earth, as i know do you. i would never apologize for america. america is the light to the world. we have freedoms and tunnels here that -- and opportunities here that people dream about abroad. i certainly did. and with regard to that quote, one of the things that had moved me, i had -- as some have mentioned -- written very critically about the clinton administration's response to the rwanda genocide back in 994, written in great detail about that. and president clinton himself, as you know, had come forward and expressed his regret that the united states about do more in the face -- didn't do more in
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the face a of the genocide. when i traveled to rwanda, however, having been very, very critical, i was stunned to see the degree to which clinton's visit to rwanda, his apology for not having done more, how it had resonated. >> this weekend on c-span, the senate foreign registrations committee takes up the nomination of samantha power to be u.s. ambassador to the u.n. today at 10 a.m. eastern. on c-span2's booktv, live full-day coverage of the 15th annual harlem book fair including author panels and your calls, tweets and facebook comments starting today at 11:45. and on c-span2's american history tv, lectures in history and a history of u.s. political parties. sunday at 1. >> sarah weinman, news editor for publish everybodies marketplace, joins us to discuss the recent ruling on e book
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pricing. guilty of colluding with five publishers to raise the cost of e job -- ebooks. >> guest: so back in april 2012 the department of justice sued five publishers which were pension wish, mcmillan, simon & schuster, harpercollins and -- [inaudible] book group for conspiring with apple to raise ebook prices as part of setting up both the agency model and getting their books into apple's ibookstore. and what ended up transpiring over a three week trial that took place over june is that the department of justice tried to prove that apple was essentially the ringleader of this conspiracy and that in meetings with these five publishers over a six week period with a flurry of e-mails, phone calls and
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other communications that they all conspired to raise e-book prices. now, the fife publishers -- the five publishers had actually settled with the department of justice beforehand. apple had not. they decided to pursue this in trial. and just before the trial happened, the judge had indicated to both sides that, quote-unquote with, in her tentative view she was inclined to side with the doj and rule that apple, indeed, conspired to fix prices. so the trial was interesting in that it seemed the judge was trying to mitigate against her initial view point, but in the end this ruling was handed down, and we felt it was a rather fast ruling because the trial ended only on june 20th, and here it was july 10th that a ruling came down. so in the end her tentative view became her permanent view, and apple has been found guilty. >> host: sarah, you mentioned
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the agency model. for viewers who are just learning about this case, can you give us a brief understanding of what that means? >> guest: sure. so the way that e-book pricing were handled was under what's called the wholesale model where publishers would have a list price, retailers were free to set the price of whatever they chose, and the reason they were upset was because amazon was discounting bestsellers and brand new titles at a significant discount. so publishers felt that the wholesale model was not working for them, and it was cutting into their business, and it was going to affect profit mar jibs on concern margins on the right. the agency model, on the other hand, the publisher sets the price. the retailer takes a particular cut. apple likes to take 30 %, that's what they did with the itunes store and that's what they wended up doing with the
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ibookstore. retailers cannot clarke the price, but -- cannot change the price, but they'll end up acting as agent. what was interesting about that is that the agency model may have produced smaller revenues, but it boosted profits for publishers, and they felt that it gave every retailer the in. apple or independent bookstores or sony or you name it extra skin in the game. so what actually ended up happening thanks to the agency model is that because prices were uniform across the board, there were more entrants into the e-book market whereas in 2009 it looked like amazon was going to dominate, and nobody else was going to enter the picture. >> host: going back to the recent ruling yesterday or wednesday, you talked about the five publishers who are also part of this case. they settled out of court before this trial, and apple decided to hold out. following this ruling, apple's spokesman said when we introduced the the ibookstore in
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2010, we gave customers choice breaking amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. he goes on to say we've done nothing wrong, and we will appeal the judge's decision. do you think apple has a case for appeal? >> guest: it'll be interesting to see if they do. judge coats really was very clever in that she made it very clear that all she was really ruling on was what transpired in those weeks between late 2009 and 2010. ing observers and certainly apple were worried that it would affect their ability to do business, that it would affect their ability to use what's nope as the most favored nation -- what's known as the most favored nation clause. that came up during trial because that was one of the key tenets of the five publishers. they basically said if we're going to do an agency model, we still want to make sure that if
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some other retailer decides to change the price, we'll essentially have first dibs on matching it as well. be -- so there was some worry that it might be in play as a result of this ruling. at least from our original realize it seems like judge coats' opinion was not, as she put it -- [inaudible] so it will go to appeal. but it seems like she set hearse up to have an -- herself up to have an airtight case so even though she may have tipped her hand with what i spoke about earlier, it seems as if there may not be as much latitude to the appeals court to rule on. however, i'm not lawyer, and we haven't seen what apple will file, and i'm sure they will make many interesting arguments as to why the judge coats' ruling should be thrown out. >> what does this mean for apple's chief competitor, amazon?
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>> guest: amazon has always been calling this, in their terms, a big win. i mean, what's happened because of the publishers settling and, in fact, just today, thursday we reported that penguin has adjusted e-book crisis in accordance with their settlement with the department of justice. so it seems as if prices have gone down. but i think it's important for viewers to note that what this case has done is it has not thrown the agency model away hike the baby with the bath water. all it's done is it's affected the specific deal that these five publishers and by proxy random house through their recent work approved merger with pepping win, what it's done is made them renegotiate deals and come up with a different spin on the agency model. we've been calling it agency right because, essentially, the retailers are still acting as an
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agent per se, but they're still -- [inaudible] so we're sort of an amalgam of both the agency and wholesale model. it's not like the wholesale model has come back. >> host: so the agency model is not dead. publishers' thoughts on this and do publishers think that the current price of e-books is sustainable of $9.99 and less? >> guest: well, i think it's alortasomp t out that 9.99 was something of a metaphor. there were a great many e-books priced even in 2011 by amazon that were higher than 9.99. many of the new bestsellers, one of the titles that kept coming up was stephen kick's "under the dome" because simon & schuster felt threatened by the fact that am zone was -- amazon was discounting a page over a
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thousand pages long and they were selling it at such a low cost that that's why they did some -- [inaudible] called windowing where they delayed the e-book release. it doesn't seem terribly likely that windowing is going to come back. they're still working out deals with the various retailers, there are other things that concern them, for example, the health of barnes & noble now that their ceo has resigned. so there are a great many things that are already settled. the publishers have either paid out the money entirely, or they've settled, they've set it aside so that they can pay that later. >> host: to your knowledge, are there publishers working on a new model, and how reticent are they to work together after this ruling? >> guest: i have no knowledge of what, if any, additional models they might be working on, and i'm sure in terms of working together there will probably be even more lawyers present than there were already. [laughter] >> host: final question, sarah. have or will consumers notice a
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marked difference in the cost of e-books due to this ruling? >> guest: i think one thing that's interesting to point out, and this was brought to our attention by a marley savvy observer -- particularly savvy observer which is let's say apple loses the ruling and they go through the damage trial, and they're hit with many hundreds of millions of dollars. the five publishers who settled in total settled for about $166 million. apple would likely be on the hook for many, several times over that. so with hundreds of millions of that ares that would be given out in a settlement -- and this, by the way, would be from the state, not the department of justice itself because their charges were not based in terms of monetary value. it was based in terms of solution and conspiracy and the like -- collusion and conspiracy and the like. then it would operate where e-book consumers would see a credit in their balance of
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retailer. so let's say they each got, i don't know, as a ballpark $2 per e-book that was questionable. that's, you know,ing a fair only of money. and as a credit, it will have to be spent. where will it be spent? at the retailers. who will benefit? the publishers. it may act as a stimulus package for the publishing industry which i'm sure is not what the department of justice intended. >> sarah weinman with publishers marketplace where she reports on the publishing industry. follow her via twitter at@sarah and visit publishers marketplace .com. sarah joined us via skype from new york. thanks, sarah. >> guest: thanks so much for having me. >> booktv is on facebook. like us to interact with booktv guests and viewers, watch videos and get up-to-date information on events.
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facebook.com/booktv. >> up next, jessica wapner, author of "the philadelphia chrome sewn," talks about the discovery of a mutant chrome sewn by a scientist in 1959 and the eventual realization that the mutation is the sole cause of a certain kind of lieu chemoya. this led to the first-ever successful treatment of cancer at the genetic level and opened up a new field of cancer research. this event, hosted by powell's city of books in portland, oregon, is just over an hour. ..
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